Former Senate President Aquilino “Nene” Pimentel Jr said Friday there is an increased interest on federalism after the victory of President-elect Rodrigo Duterte.
“Mukhang na-excite na sila,” Pimentel said at a forum on federalism in Greenhills, San Juan.
“There are so many requests for seminar now on federalism. Narinig nila yung salita na federalism pero hindi nila alam what is in there for me. How will it affect my life as an individual citizen of this country,” he added.
Pimentel, principal author of Republic Act 7160 or the Local Government Code of 1991, said he is booked to speak on the topic in Iba, Zambales and have been invited to go to Bacolod, Leyte and Camarines Norte.
“Dumadami na yung mga imbitasyon tungkol dito which is a good thing, I think,” he said.
Pimentel, founder of Partido Demokratiko Pilipino, is an advocate of federalism like Duterte.
He said under the present system, the national government has the most power, which resulted in an imbalance distribution of resources, while in a federal form of government, the power—political and economic— will be shared with regional and local governments throughout the nation.
He proposes the creation of 11 federal states while Metro Manila will be the federal administrative region.
“With this, we immediately establish 112 centers of power, finance, and development throughout the country,” he said.
The proposed federal states are:
- Northern Luzon with Tuguegarao City as capital
- Central Luzon, with Tarlac City as capital
- Southern Tagalog, with Tagaytay City as capital
- Bicol, with Legazpi City as capital
- Eastern Visayas, with Catbalogan as capital
- Central Visayas, with Toledo City as capital
- Western Visayas, with Iloilo as capital
- Minparom, with Mamburao, Mindoro Occidental as capital
- Northern Mindanao, with Cagayan de Oro as capital
- Southern Mindanao, with Davao City as capital
- Bangsamoro, with Marawi as capital.
Pimentel believed that if the federal system is adopted as form of government, there will hardly be a need for the Bangsamoro Basic Law as the federalization would sufficiently address the fundamental demands of the Muslim sector, the Lumads, and other minorities without sacrificing the rights of the members of majority.
He said if the presidential form will be retained under the federal system, the president and vice president should be elected as a team.
He also proposed that senators will be elected by federal state while members of House of Representatives will be elected by district. He said each state shall be represented by six senators. He said the increase in the number of senators may be justified by the rise in the population.
Pimentel said every federal state will have own governor and vice governor. There will still be provincial governors, city or municipal mayors, and other local government officials.
He said under the federal system, the shares of provinces, cities, municipalities, and barangays will be bigger than what is currently provided for under the Local Government Code. — APG, GMA News